Saturday, July 25, 2015

'I had no part in Tong's offer to Justo'

8:00PM Jul 24, 2015
By Andrew Ong
Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the editor of whistleblower websiteSarawak Report, today said she was not involved in attempts by media tycoon Tong Kooi Ong to mislead former PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) executive Xavier Andre Justo regarding financial payment for information.

Contacted by Malaysiakini, she said Tong had indicated to Justo that he would be paid.

"But when it emerged they were not paying Justo, I had to deal with a lot of upset from him (Justo). I did not want to have anything to do with it but offered to try and mediate.

"It did not come to anything," she said.

Tong, who owns The Edge Media Group, had admitted to "misleading" Justo in order to secure documents which would expose alleged shady deals involving 1MDB.

The company's printing permit for two publications - The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly - has been suspended for three months by the Home Ministry today.

'Justo wanted to right wrongs'

Recounting her conversations with Justo, Rewcastle-Brown said the Swiss national had often expressed that what mattered was doing the right thing for Malaysians.

"But that had cost him a lot and he felt these costs should have been covered. He is a nice man and was genuinely outraged at the greed and scale of theft in the 1MDB-PetroSaudi International deal.

"I don't doubt that," she said.

"We talked about his feelings and his desire to do the right thing by Malaysia often. There was never any talk but of getting out the truth.

"But PSI and 1MDB folk have preferred to go on the run rather than try and argue against what we have said," she added.

'Docs were dynamite'

In early March, Sarawak Report ran a series of reports which claimed there were irregularities in the joint-venture between 1MDB and PSI inked in 2009. The JV lasted only six months.

1MDB invested US$1 billion into the project, but leaked documents, exposed by Sarawak Report, indicated that US$700 million was channeled into a company known as Good Star Ltd, owned by Jho Low, a known associate of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

A report by The Star lent credence to Sarawak Report's claims.

According to the July 11 report, 1MDB chairperson Mohd Bakke Salleh and director Azlan Mohd Zainol had quit in protestbecause US$700 million was diverted.

Rewcastle-Brown still stood by Sarawak Report's articles on this matter and pointed out that London's Sunday Times, which also reported on the same matter, had believed it too.

"There was no question of tampering these documents. They were dynamite. I could see that and so could the Sunday Times," she said.
~ Malaysiakini

Opposition leaders warn British PM ahead of meeting with Najib

Published: 25 July 2015 9:50 AM

David Cameron greets Datuk Seri Najib Razak at 10, Downing St in 2013. Both leaders will meet again as Cameron seeks to promote British trade. – Reuters file pic, July 25, 2015.
David Cameron greets Datuk Seri Najib Razak at 10, Downing St in 2013. Both leaders will meet again as Cameron seeks to promote British trade. – Reuters file pic, July 25, 2015.

Opposition leaders have criticised the timing of British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to Malaysia next week, saying it could send a signal that Downing Street was indifferent to allegations surrounding Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Britain's Financial Times (FT) quoted PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar as saying that Cameron’s visit could show the UK government was not concerned about “the current scandal-ridden ground on which Najib treads”, while DAP's Tony Pua warned that any support to Najib would taint Britain's image "as a country which supports democratic principles and good governance”.
But a British official appeared to defend the visit, saying Cameron believed in engaging with all leaders.
"He has said that the way to talk about issues is to have an engaging relationship and try and work with countries.
“Malaysia is a longstanding partner of the UK and the relationship is important for our prosperity and security," FT quoted a source in Downing Street as saying.
The Najib government is currently battling allegations of mismanagement and corruption surrounding his brainchild, 1MDB, which has raked up debts up to RM42 billion.
The saga took a twist after The Wall Street Journal's expose last month that billions of ringgit from the state-owned fund had allegedly ended in Najib's personal bank accounts, an allegation the Malaysian prime minister has denied.
Cameron and Najib had met at the height of the Bersih protests for electoral reforms in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, sparking criticism from Malaysians in the UK.
Cameron is in a series of high-profile meetings with Asian leaders to promote British trade outside Europe, which includes meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi later this year.
“We need to go to the ends of the earth to sell our wares," he wrote recently in Britain's Daily Mail.
According to FT, Britain has been keen to sell its Eurofighter Typhoon military jets to Malaysia, and ministers were disappointed to see the aircraft lose out to rivals in the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and India. – July 25, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/opposition-leaders-warn-british-pm-ahead-of-meeting-with-najib#sthash.SJrpbVQm.dpuf

Azmin: KDN explanation is ridiculous


July 25, 2015
Selangor MB asks Malaysians to demand for publishing licences of the Edge to be restored
Azmin--KDN
SHAH ALAM: Selangor menteri besar Azmin Ali, condemning the suspension of the Edge, has urged Malaysians to demand that the government revoke its decision.
He said the work by the Edge and its sister publication the Edge Financial Daily in exposing the financial scandals in 1Malaysia Development Bhd were obligatory on the media. The Edge would be failing in its duty if it did not report on the scandal, he said in a sateement.
He described as ridiculous the Home Ministry’s explanation that such media reporting was prejudicial to public and national interest. “The only people who will be prejudiced by the exposes are the parties whose hands are tainted by their complicity in this conspiracy to plunder the nation’s wealth. Innocent parties must surely welcome such exposes,” said Azmin, who is deputy president of PKR.
WHY ONE LAW FOR UTUSAN, ANOTHER LAW FOR EDGE?
The DAP’s adivser, Lim Kit Siang, was also critical of the KDN explanation for the suspensions. He said there appeared to be one law for the Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia and another law for Edge Group publications.
He questioned why Utusan Malaysia had not been closed down long ago.
“It repeatedly and unrepentantly published not only ‘doubtful and unverified information’, but downright lies and falsehoods, to alarm public opinion and cause prejudice to public order and national interest, Lim said.
Utusan Malaysia has often carried inflammatory reports about the DAP and has faced libel suits from DAP politicians. Earlier this year the paper was ordered to pay substantial damages to Lim’s son, Lim Guan Eng, in a libel action.
~ Free Malaysia Today

Hakam: Edge suspension fuels more suspicion

12:00PM Jul 25, 2015
Malaysiakini
The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) has warned that suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Dailywill only fuel more suspicion that Putrajaya has something to hide.

In a press release today, Hakam president Ambiga Sreenevasan (photo) said the suspension of the two newspapers, which have reported extensively on the 1MDB controversy, was an attempt to stop public discourse on the important issue.

She said that the allegations made by the two newspapers - that rouge businessman had siphoned off billions of ringgit from 1MDB, which is owned by the Finance Ministry - was of significant public interest.

"When the government is unwilling to answer these allegations and instead chooses to shut down the media, this only affirms the public’s suspicion of large-scale corruption," she said.

Ambiga, who was formerly the Bar Council president, said that the reasons given by the authorities for suspending the two newspapers - that the their reporting was "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order" - were untenable.

"We cannot allow the government to hide under arbitrary notions of 'public order' which clearly do not apply. The Sarawak Report website was blocked a few days ago for precisely the same reason.

"The government should instead encourage whistleblowers and cooperate to seek the truth, not to silence them. When the government does otherwise in the face of corruption scandals, it is the government that is truly jeopardising 'public and national interest'."

Safeguarding accountability

Ambiga said freedom of expression and the press must be protected and promoted to ensure that the needed informed political debate takes place in order to safeguard public accountability and transparency.

"At a national level, this constitutionally guaranteed human right is necessary for good governance and therefore for economic and social progress," she said.

Yesterday, the Home Ministry announced the three months suspension of the printing license for the two influential business newspapers which will take effect from July 27.

This follows theadmission of the newspaper's owner Tong Kooi Ong that some documents used for its articles on 1MDB were sourced from former PetroSaudi International Ltd (PSI) director Xavier Andre Justo.

Justo is now being held by the Thai authorities for attempting to blackmail PSI by threatening to expose the stolen documents.

Putrajaya on the other hand is claiming that reports by the two newspapers and whistleblower website Sarawak Reportwas based on "tampered" documents.

Thus far, Putrajaya, 1MDB and PSI have yet to provide any proof of this.

'Putrajaya not convincing'

Meanwhile, Bar Council president Steven Thiru (photo) had described the grounds of the suspension were "unconvincing and unreasonable".

"The suspension order can easily be perceived as a blatant or deliberate attempt to silence a contrary or critical voice on a matter of public interest.

"This is deplorable as it suggest the affected parties are incapable or unwilling to rebut or to respond to the concerns or criticism expressed by The Edge.

"This in turn gives rise to the reasonable conclusion that the allegations made by The Edge have merit, substance and credibility that cannot be rebutted and that the alleged wrongdoers are being protected," he said.

~ Malaysiakini

The Edge: We will not apologise

9:47PM Jul 24, 2015
By Lu Wei Hoong
Despite being served with a three-month suspension, The Edgeoffers no apologies and vows to continue its coverage on the 1MDB-PetroSaudi expose.

Its publisher and chief executive officer Ho Kay Tat told a press conference he is standing firmly behind what the media has published on the issue.

“We will not apologise because we haven't done anything wrong. We stand by what we have published.

“None of the published articles have been challenged. No one has come to say, ‘This article is wrong, that article is wrong’. No one,” Ho said when met by media after the staff meeting at the company headquarters in Petaling Jaya this evening.

Staff from the suspended media clapped and cheered after the press conference was over.

1MDB coverage will not stop

Ho said staff from the media group was in an equally good spirit, cheering him when he stepped into the office earlier to update them on the latest development regarding the Home Ministry's decision.

"I asked them, 'You clapped because you think you are going on a three-month holiday or what?" he told the journalists at the press conference.

Ho insists The Edge will continue its operation across its online platform.

A staunch critic of 1MDB, Ho also said its publication will continue to follow and report the development of the debt-laden sovereign fund.

“Of course we will continue to report on 1MDB.

"As you all know, there will be plenty to report on 1MDB because a lot of things are happening,” he added.

He also said that salary for the staff will be fully paid during the suspension period.

Earlier today, the Home Ministry slapped a three-month suspension on The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly, effective July 27.
~ Malaysiakini

Condemnation builds over Edge suspension

5:26PM Jul 24, 2015
Malaysiakini
The Home Ministry's move to suspend The Edge Financial Dailyand The Edge Weekly for three months has been condemned as an attempt to silence the media.

Critics have questioned how reporting by The Edge publications on the 1MDB scandal could jeopardise public order.

They also lamented how the media group was being punished for highlighting matters of public interest.

Below are some of the notable reactions to the suspension:

Saifuddin Abdullah, former Umno supreme council member:

I strongly condemn the three months; suspension of The Edge &Financial Daily.

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, PKR Youth chief:

The government owes Malaysians an explanation just why exactly The Edge’s reporting on the 1MDB issue is 'prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest'.

Rather than resort to such draconian methods, the government ought to have fully and comprehensively answered the allegations made.

Ong Kian Ming, DAP Serdang MP:

(Bob) Woodward and (Carl) Bernstein were given the Pulitzer for uncovering the Watergate Scandal. In Malaysia, The Edge is suspended for its 1MDB coverage.

Centre For Independent Journalism:

For the government to muzzle The Edge under these circumstances only leads to more questions on the management of 1MDB.

It is in fact in the public and government's interest, for the governance and management of 1MDB to be transparent and accountable.

Media watchdog Geramm:

Since The Edge had denied tampering with the documents and investigations are still ongoing, with no conclusive findings, Geramm believes the Home Ministry had acted in bad faith againstThe Edge in the suspension.

Geramm maintains that the media should have the ability to investigate matters of public interest that would have otherwise not see the light of day.

Electoral watchdog Bersih:

Solidarity with The Edge. The truth will surely overcome the corrupt.

This ongoing crackdown, first onSarawak Reportand now The Edge, can only lead us to wonder if it is because the allegations of The Wall Street Journalwere accurate in claiming RM2.6 billion was transferred into the personal bank account of the prime minister two months before the 2013 general election.
 
Bersih urges the Home Ministry to immediately revoke the suspension of The Edge and to desist in its continuous harassment of journalists who expose alleged corrupt practices by senior officials linked to the Malaysian government.
 
Until then, Bersih stands in solidarity with The Edge and we ask for all Malaysians to unite behind a call for institutional changes to our broken system to ensure Malaysia never again has to endure such a scandal.
 
N Surendran, PKR Padang Serai MP:

The Edge had further obtained and provided important evidence relating to the scandal to the MACC, police and Bank Negara, all of which comprise the 1MDB special task force.

The action by the Home Ministry against The Edge thus has the obvious effect of undermining the work of the 1MDB task force.

Penang executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin:

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's move does not reflect his patriotism as he should be more interested in protecting national interest, rather than Najib's.

Why is the home minister involved in the matter? The scandal does not affect Malaysians only, but has gone global.

Zahid (photo) has failed in his duty as home minister to safeguard the country's and people's interest.

If there was anything wrong with The Edge reports, take them to court, and let the market decide the authenticity or credibility of the reports.

Lawyers for Liberty:

This is a most serious assault on the freedom of the press, a case of suppressing dissenting and critical press, as under no circumstances could The Edge’s coverage of the 1MDB scandal could be described as "prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest", as alleged in the suspension order.

The Edge's coverage of the 1MDB scandal was the finest hour of Malaysia's press. It was journalism at its best as they fearlessly investigated and reported on the massive and complex 1MDB scandal, despite the overwhelming odds and threats against them.

The Edge should be lauded for their outstanding journalism instead of being persecuted.

Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia:

To begin with, the very idea that the government can suspend or revoke printing licenses at a moment's notice needs to be done away with if the government is truly committed to press freedom. But to suspend a newspaper over reports that no one has been able to prove were false, is plainly contrary to the notion of natural justice.

By all means, investigate The Edge, its owners and staff. Police have already questioned chief executive Ho Kay Tat and are reportedly due to interview owner Tong Kooi Ong. Authorities should ask themselves if a suspension aids investigations at all, and explain to the public on what basis they have decided that The Edge has endangered national security.

We call on all stakeholders and the general public to participate in a democratic society responsibly. All parties who feel aggrieved should be given their right of reply and there are proactive ways to engage in public discourse that are more productive and honest, than using the blunt force of anachronistic law.

The Home Ministry should immediately revoke its suspension order, or failing which, the courts must urgently hear the matter once The Edge has filed for a review of the decision, so as to ensure a vibrant and orderly Malaysian society that the FCCM has been proud to operate in.

National Union of Journalists Malaysia:

The Home Ministry, in both its recent show-cause letter and today's notice of suspension, had not identified specifically the offending articles which were deemed to have been harmful to national security.

NUJ is of the opinion that the Home Ministry must spell out clearly how The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily are deemed a threat to national security.

We are of the view that both publications had published articles related to 1MDB with public interest in mind.

Both The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily had also published rebuttals from both Government spokepersons and 1MDB. As such, the publications have offered a platform for civil debate and discourse.
~ Malaysiakini

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sarawak Report blockage shines light on ‘abusive’ MCMC powers

BY IDA LIM
Friday July 24, 2015

Sarawak Report blocked for Malaysian netizens by MCMC. — File pic


Sarawak Report blocked for Malaysian netizens by MCMC. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, July 24 ― Putrajaya’s decision to block access to Sarawak Report without proof of wrongdoing has directed attention on a law allows the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to arbitrarily censor the Internet.
Senior criminal lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said a clause in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 was of concern as it permits the commission to be “prosecutor, judge and executioner” when applying bans on websites even before an offence is committed.
“It’s just like ISA. It’s open to abuse,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted, referring to the now-abolished Internal Security Act 1960 that had allowed the government to detain individuals arbitrarily and indefinitely without trial.
“The section is also open to abuse because of the word 'prevention'. As long as the authority is of the view that a website is a potential threat, it has the power and can block a particular website, despite the fact that no offence has been proven to have been committed,” he said.
Among the possible power abuses are selective enforcement against websites seen as critical of the government or even a “complete blackout” of the Internet and information, Amer Hamzah said.
The blocking of the Sarawak Report website despite an MCMC official’s admission that its content has yet to be proven false is also another example of the arbitrary use of Section 263 (2) of the Communications and Multimedia Act, he said.
On Sunday, the MCMC ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block local access to Sarawak Report for carrying articles on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal that it described as unverified news.
Under Section 263 (2), ISPs as licensees must comply with the MCMC or any other authorities that make a written request for their assistance in preventing an offence or the attempt of any crime listed under Malaysian law.
Civil liberties lawyer Melissa Sasidaran pointed out, however, that Section 3(3) of the CMA states that nothing in that Act “shall be construed as permitting the censorship of the Internet”.
“Basically the Act doesn’t allow for censorship of Internet. So MCMC has some explaining to do,” she told Malay Mail Online.
Lawyer Foong Cheng Leong, who is well-versed with cyber law, said Section 263(2) has a wide scope and could be interpreted “very liberally” to mean that MCMC can ask ISPs to block a website even when no complaint or police report has been lodged.
“You don’t have to wait for the court to convict the person to block the website,” the KL Bar Information Technology committee chairman told Malay Mail Online when contacted, adding that even prosecution was not a requirement for the section to apply.
Foong said there is “room for abuse” as the MCMC can cite the broadly-worded clause to block websites without reasonable basis, but noted that website owners could seek legal remedy by attempting to have unjustified blocks declared unlawful and beyond the MCMC’s authority.
Both Foong and Amer Hamzah said there appears to be no tribunal available for website owners to appeal to and it is unclear whether the CMA’s Section 82 on resolving disputes through negotiation covers such cases.
The two lawyers suggested safeguards to curb any possible power abuses by MCMC under Section 263 (2), with both saying that the regulator should notify the website owner when it makes a written request to the ISPs to block the websites.
“If you look at the Home Ministry’s website, there is a list of books being banned. Why can’t we have say a list what kind of website has been banned?” Foong asked, adding that a clear avenue for website owners to appeal to the MCMC decision must be provided.
Foong said, however, that some curbs were justifiable, citing as example Islamic State militants’ propaganda as well as existing restrictions on pornography, gambling and drugs.
Amer Hamzah said that unlike clear-cut cases like child pornography websites where censorship is needed, proper checks and balances are required to prevent power abuses when MCMC denies access to grey areas like news reports and information.
He described the MCMC’s move to block Sarawak Report as appearing regressive and an attempt to “stifle” the fundamental rights of freedom of information and expression, adding that those affected by the website’s articles could either rebut with information or sue instead.
“We don't want the perception that MCMC is being used to protect a particular party,” he added.
When asked about MCMC’s possible justification of national security for the blocking of Sarawak Report, he pointed out that no mob violence has been seen as a result of the website’s reports as opposed to the rumours spread online that resulted in the Low Yat Plaza riots.
On Sunday, MCMC said it had decided to block websites that can “threaten national stability”, including Sarawak Report for publishing information that “still cannot be verified and is being investigated”.
It also said the temporary blocking of Sarawak Report until the end of a special taskforce’s probe on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is done according to Section 211 and Section 233 of the CMA.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sarawak-report-blockage-shines-light-on-abusive-mcmc-powers#sthash.9bDsmdf6.dpuf

How about ‘Sarawakians for Sarawak’ instead?

2:38PM Jul 22, 2015
By Dr Kelvin Yii


With all the political fiasco and moral policing that has been happening in the west (Malaya) recently, one of the most common comments from my fellow Sarawakians is how these things will never be an issue in Sarawak or even how good would Sarawak be if we were never part of Malaysia.

There is truth to that statement and I for one has been vocal about how our state has not gotten our fair share from the Malaysian Agreement that our forefathers in their own foresight signed to put our state in the trajectory of development. However, instead we have been short-changed, used, and milked dry of our resources to further expand the interest of our cousins in the west.

This dissatisfaction birthed the whole state nationalist sentiments ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’ to in a sense instill regionalist pride among ourselves and the conviction to demand autonomy to run our state the ‘Sarawak Way’. I for one understand why this sentiments is gathering momentum and popularity because when I first heard of it, I also echoed their sentiments.

State nationalism is a good thing, pride for our own state is essential, and knowing where we come from is vital. But after thinking deeper, I do wonder, have these sentiments been wisely used in our current Malaysian political scenario?

Sentiments controls the interest of people, and sentiments divide. It is the same tactics Umno and even PAS are playing with the racial/religious cards to divide people and somewhat bend them to their will. I am not suggesting that ‘S4S’ is a bad sentiment, but just try dissecting its long-term effects as well as timing of the movement.

Recently, the ‘S4S’ movement have even demanded that we kick out all west political parties including the major three; DAP, PKR and PAS (which is actually non-existent). Who has all to gain from this move? Basically they are wiping out the opposition. Adenan Satem is a smart man. Why do you think he is probably the biggest supporter and face of this movement?

May I suggest that it is not the origin of the political party that should matter, but the ‘cause’ it is fighting for is what our focus should be upon. Fact is, a lot of Sarawakian local political parties have not taken care of the welfare of our very own people but rather playing their political games to gain power and to get a cut of the pie of our state’s rich resources.

Just see the games SUPP and UPP have been playing these past few months and when their leaders tried justifying it by saying it’s to serve the interest of the people, I kinda puked in my own mouth. Then the question for us to ponder is do we trust these local parties to spend the same amount of zeal fighting for their own benefit fighting for the state and our very own interest?

My issue with this is that the sentiments might in the right place, but for me its long-term effect might be devastating. Let’s face it, Sarawak will not achieve secession in the near future like many hope to achieve. So our actions or vote will still determine the future of Malaysia as a whole, and the political atmosphere of the west will still affect us.

Don’t let these sentiments cloud us

Through these sentiments, BN component parties will have everything to gain, and the opposition has everything to lose. Do not let these sentiments cloud us for other essential issues in our nation and strengthen a proven corrupt regime who has already messed up the country.

I personally do not think it is a coincidence these sentiments are gaining momentum so close to the state elections. It could be a political play, it may not be as well, but let us be careful that state pride will not be hijacked as a political ploy to stay in power.

Adenan Satem in now saying all the right things. I would like to emphasise that it is up to us to keep check that he walks the talk even after the elections. My hope is that down the line, the legacy of our local political parties will not just be to pride ourselves in keeping out western parties (Umno, etc), but actually building our state and allocating its riches responsibly to its people.

I for one am a firm believer of the future of my own state. I am in fact for the sentiments of state pride, but not for these sentiments to be hijacked to strengthen a corrupt regime. May I suggest again, that instead of pushing for ‘Sarawak for Sarawakians’, I personally prefer if we all push for ‘Sarawakians for Sarawak’.

This ideology instead challenges us Sarawakians to give back to our state whether in politics, economics, education and every other major spheres of influence. Sarawakians, in political parties no matter where its origin, claiming autonomy to run things in our own state which we know the best.

Sarawakians, who will continue to push for autonomy and betterment in education to educate our young, Sarawakians who will do our best in whatever work that is given to us and not take shortcuts, and most importantly Sarawakians who will not exploit the riches of our land for the interest of self.

Instead of just saying “all these will never happen in Sarawak”, show them and exemplify how it should be done that others will ask “what would Sarawakians do?” in moments of crisis.

As we celebrate Sarawak’s independence, let us make sure we will not be chained by any sentiments that will hinder us from the bigger picture. Short-sightedness has caused our state enough damage already.

Dum Spiro Spero - ‘While I breathe, I hope.’

Agi idup agi ngelaban! Happy 52nd Sarawak Independence Day!

Anwar: Key 1MDB culprits musn't be let off

10:34AM Jul 23, 2015
Malaysiakini
Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has called for action to be taken on the key players behind the 1MDB scandal in order to restore international confidence in the nation.      

“There must be resolute action in order to restore public and investor confidence. No stone must be left unturned.

“No one, no matter how high up, must be let off,” Anwar said in a statement that was issued through his lawyers today.

He said the growing scandal around Prime Minister Najib Razak’s pet project, 1MDB, was seriously affecting the country’s economy and the authorities should therefore act swiftly.

“Although a couple of arrests have now been made, it is reasonable for the people to remain sceptical until action is taken against the primary actors in this scandal.

“The authorities must also work with international organisations, such as Interpol, as some key players and witnesses are overseas,” he said.

Anwar's call from within the walls of Sungai Buloh prison, where he is serving a jail sentence on a conviction of sodomy, comes after increasing government action against the media and opposition leaders.

Yesterday, the police launched investigations against opposition lawmakers Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, as well as The Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong, under Section 124 of the Penal Code.

'Ringgit plunging'

Anwar said he had raised questions on the alleged mismanagement of 1MDB funds in Parliament since 2009, “but nothing was done by the government or by Umno”.

The PKR de facto leader added: “This scandal has exposed the shocking extent of the mismanagement and corruption high in the BN leadership, with the PM himself heavily implicated.

“Now, the country faces billions of ringgit in losses and international embarrassment; the value of the ringgit has plummeted and investor confidence shaken.

“This affects the financial well-being of every Malaysian, for which the BN must answer.”

~ Malaysiakini